What are some examples of different literary devices being used in Friar Lawrence's speech in Act 3 Scene 3 (lines 108-158)?Are there puns, paradoxes, anthithesis, irony, symbolism, hyperboles,...

What are some examples of different literary devices being used in Friar Lawrence's speech in Act 3 Scene 3 (lines 108-158)?

Are there puns, paradoxes, anthithesis, irony, symbolism, hyperboles, oxymorons...?

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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It is true, there are several examples of literary elements within this famous speech of Friar Lawrence, many which come in the very opening lines.

First, the Friar says:

Art thou a man? Thy form cries out thou art;(115)
Thy tears are womanish, thy wild acts denote
The unreasonable fury of a beast.

Here, the Friar insults Romeo with a hypothetical question (Are you a man?) and then calls his tears "womanish," but his actions the "unreasonable fury of a beast."  These figures of speech could also be considered hyperbole, or exaggerations of Romeo's emotional state, and certainly, portraying him as both "womanish" and beastly in the same sentence is also ironic.  It is as if the Friar wishes to verbally enhance the extremes of Romeo's behavior, words, and reaction to reality here.

You will certainly find more examples of figures of speech (look for similes and metaphors) throughout these lines.  Also, understand that antithesis is a form of argument which presents a contrast to the original proposition.  Here, Friar Lawrence is asking Romeo, essentially, is he going to continue acting like a weak woman, or will he stand up and be a man?  Throughout the speech he reminds Romeo of all of the "manly" things he's done, but by the end, he never tells Romeo exactly what to do.  Instead, he pins him in an emotional corner and presents the opportunity to be a man the only logical choice for Romeo.

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